Trucking is a tightly regulated industry. There are multiple federal, state, and location ordinances to keep truckers and the general public safe. Unfortunately, many of these regulations create unrealistic demands on the industry, and many drivers take shortcuts to get their job done. These shortcuts or safety volitions lead to serious accidents. Here are a few common safety violations that you and your truck accident lawyer may consider when defending your personal injury lawsuit.
Hours Of Service
One of the most important federal regulations governing trucking is the hours of service rules all drivers must adhere to. These regulations limit truck drivers' hours on the road without taking a break.
The federal government implemented these rules to address the severe driver fatigue that leads to significant accidents. When truckers violate the hours of service rules and are involved in an accident, they and their trucking companies can be held liable. Some of these rules include the following:
- 11-hour driving limit out of a 14-hour shift
- 14-hour shift limit
- 10 hours off duty between shifts
- 30-minute breaks every 8 hours
- 60 hours every seven days
There are additional hours of service regulations. These rules only apply to property-carrying drivers. There are other rules for passenger-carrying drivers.
Many truckers do not adhere to posted speed limits. The drivers are trying to get their freight to their locations as quickly as possible. The more trips they make often equate to more money.
Unfortunately, a speeding truck can be a dangerous weapon to everyone on the road. These vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Their size and weight mean they cannot stop as quickly as other cars on the road.
For example, a passenger vehicle weighing 3,000 - 4,000 going 65 mph takes almost the length of a football field to come to a complete stop. But an 18-wheeler going the same speed can take almost twice that distance. Add more speed, and the longer it takes the truck to stop.
Distracted driving has taken on epic proportions. Truckers are as, if not more so, distracted as other drivers. Distractions are caused by the following:
- Cell phones
- GPS devices
In addition to these, cognitive distractions take your mind off the road. These distractions can be just as dangerous as drowsy or drunk driving. Because truckers spend so much time in their truck and on the road, they easily become distracted.
If you feel any of these violations apply to your personal injury case, talk to a truck accident attorney.Share